Work life, home life: two opposing universes, each with their own specific set of rules and separate codes of conduct.
While some people might feel more at ease in one environment than the other, the important thing is that the two are kept separate and that we abide by the rules we have been set.
When it comes to the world of work, emotions should be left at the door with your professional persona set to kick in automatically on passing reception.
As we know, life is rarely this black and white; emotions, both positive and negative, will inevitably find their way into the workplace from time to time.
The key is not to deny the existence of emotions and sensitivities altogether but rather to understand how to manage them so as to limit their impact on your professional relationships. Here are some dos and don’ts to set you on your way:
Know your emotions
Understanding what triggers your emotions and the effect that these can have on your work and professional relationships is the first step towards gaining better control. Start by taking the time to analyse how you respond to certain workplace stressors and triggers.
Take time out
The cut and thrust of the office can make for an emotionally charged environment. Seek to balance this by taking time out each day to disconnect from work and reconnect with your non-work persona. Meditation and exercise are great ways to keep your emotions on an even keel.
Making others aware of your sensitivities around a particular issue can prevent an emotional trigger from sparking a reaction altogether. Let colleagues know discreetly if something is troubling you before the situation has a chance to escalate.
The instinctive response to an emotional outburst at work is to try act like nothing has happened. However, doing so is only likely to place further strain on your professional relationships.
Wait for things to blow over
Seek to address any incidents or outbursts as soon as you feel calm enough to do so. Facing things head on can limit their impact and stop tensions from setting in between you and those involved.
An emotional response doesn’t automatically make you more at fault for an argument or challenging situation. Take responsibility for your side, but make sure your colleague understands his or her part in the proceedings.
At the end of the day each person is different; having more of an emotional side doesn’t make you a bad person or a worse employee.
That said, having greater control or at least being aware of your own responses and triggers can make the gap between your personal and professional life far easier to manage.